Kutkh

Kutkh
Vessel Profile
Previous names Swift Strike
Type WarShip
Class Fredasa

History[edit]

In 3061 the Fredasa-class corvette CDS Swift Strike was a WarShip in service with the Clan Diamond Shark touman.[1]

The Wars of Reaving[edit]

Swift Stike was serving as a part of the Diamond Shark Black Diamond naval star from at least 3067 to 3070, and on the 20th of September of that year was in orbit above Strana Mechty with the other ships of the Black Diamond naval star when the new Clan Steel Viper flagship, the Leviathan Prime-class battleship CSV Perigard Zalman made its appearance. The Steel Vipers immediately attacked the Diamond Sharks, with the Perigard Zalman quickly destroying the Carrack-class transport CDS Bloodletter and the Lola III-class destroyer CDS Predator in the first pass alone. As the Diamond Shark civilian vessels frantically jumped out of the Strana Mechty system the Perigard Zalman continued its attack, destroying two more Diamond Shark WarShips before the Swift Strike managed to jump out of the system.[2]

The Swift Strike returned to the Clan Homeworlds in late August 3073, alongside the Potemkin-class carrier CDS Titanic. The Titanic and the Swift Strike were transporting DropShips full of supplies and materials for Clan Blood Spirit from the Diamond Shark holding of Nyserta in the Inner Sphere to the Blood Spirit enclaves on York. The goods transported by the Swift Strike and the Titanic represented one of the last bargained contracts between the Blood Spirits and the Diamond Sharks, and also included a gift from the Diamond Sharks: several Stars of Crimson Hawk BattleMechs, based upon a design taken from the Blood Spirits in a Trial of Possession and subsequently modified and improved by the Diamond Sharks.[3]

When the Swift Strike and the Titanic arrived at York they found the system under a blockade imposed by Clan Star Adder; despite having been subject to a bombardment in 3072 that was sufficiently extensive to have altered the ecology of the world, York was still technically a Blood Spirit holding, and the Star Adders were blockading the system in the hope that they could intercept the remaining Blood Spirit warriors still at large. The Diamond Shark vessels requested passage to the planet, citing the arrangements which had been bargained out between the two Clans, but Star Admiral Fortunato Gena of the Star Adders refused to allow either Diamond Shark vessel to pass.[3]

The decision by Admiral Gena forced the Diamond Sharks to try and run the blockade in order to make good on their agreement to deliver to the Blood Spirits; the Star Adders responded by engaging the Swift Strike and the Titanic with two of their own vessels, the Nightlord-class battleship CSA Absolute Truth and the Sovetskii Soyuz-class heavy cruiser CSA Nygard. The heavier Star Adder vessels first maneuvered to block the path of the Diamond Shark vessels to the planet, and then when the Titanic refused to deviate from its course, launched broadsides against the Titanic. The two broadsides were enough to destroy the Titanic, breaking the Fredasa along it's jump core. The Titanic's DropShips scattered and attempted to make it past the Star Adder vessels, but only half of them actually made it down to the planetary surface.[3]

As the Titanic was being destroyed, the Swift Strike attempted to flee the system; the Absolute Truth hit the Swift Strike with long-range fire, piercing the aft bays and damaging the main drive, with a quarter of the ship decompressing and venting into space. The commanding officer of the Swift Strike, Star Admiral Nagasawa, pushed his ship through a high-G turn that managed to break it away from the pursuing Star Adder WarShips, but the strain of the maneuver inflicted damage on the aged K-F drive.[3]

The Swift Strike managed to jump to the Albion system, where it remained for ten days before jumping out again; however, the second jump was a misjump that saw the Swift Strike arrive in an unknown system. The damage inflicted on the Swift Strike at York combined with the misjump resulted in the ship suffering from a partial loss of power, a damaged K-F drive, a malfunctioning jump sail and damaged navigational sensors. The system the Swift Strike found itself in possessed just a single planet which was barely capable of sustaining life, although the crew of the Swift Strike determined that it did possess some tainted water and small lifeforms that could, with suitable purification, give the crew at least some chance for survival.[3]

With the Swift Strike powerless, malfunctioning and adrift, the crew spent three years subsisting on the meagre sustenance from the planet while they gutted the damaged main drive and used the material obtained to repair the reactor and K-F core; by the time the repairs were complete, over half the crew had died. The Swift Strike then spent six months working through a careful search pattern of the nearby star systems until they finally picked up faint, centuries-old radio signals originating from the Chainelane Isles. Through strict attention to duty and careful operations the Swift Strike was able to slowly navigate back to the Inner Sphere, and arrived at the Diamond Shark naval base in the Chainelane Isles on the 3rd of November 3077.[3]

The Dark Age[edit]

In or around 3090 the Raven Alliance found its need for a dedicated transport fleet of WarShips lessening, and Diamond Shark Khan Nagasawa saw an opportunity for a beneficial trade. In 3091 he proposed to Clan Snow Raven that four Diamond Shark WarShips be exchanged for four Snow Raven WarShips. This proved a contentious proposal for the warriors of the Snow Raven touman, but ultimately the trade was agreed. The Diamond Sharks transferred four WarShips to the Snow Ravens - the Nightlord-class battleship Terror of the Deep, the Essex-class destroyers Tracy and Architeuthis and the Swift Strike - and in exchange received three Potemkins (the Epimetheus, Treachery and Wild Swan) and the Volga-class transport Scavenger.[4][5][6]

The Raven Alliance renamed Swift Strike the Kutkh, and she formed a part of the Alliance Naval Star along with the other three newly-acquired WarShips, based out of the Dante system. By 3101 the bulk of the Raven Alliance WarShip fleet had been mothballed, including the Kutkh, and she would remain in mothballs for a generation. When Star Admiral Iqbal Lankenau was elected saKhan in 3132 his successor was Star Admiral Loretta Gilmour. Under Admiral Gilmour the Alliance Naval Star was a key part of the Raven Alliance defenses against the Draconis Combine and the Federated Suns; when the Raven Alliance began bringing their WarShip fleet out of mothballs the Kutkh and the Essex-class Mulhacén returned to active service, bringing the Alliance Naval Star up to four active WarShips. The Alliance Naval Star then increased to five WarShips when the Whirlwind-class destroyer William Adams was added to the Star, but the reintegration of the three mothballed ships with the Star didn't go well. The Raven Alliance responded by sending the Star to the spinward frontier of the Alliance for more than a year to conduct training exercises before returning them to active duty and assigning the Star to pirate-hunting missions.[4]

The Kutkh and the Alliance Naval Star active pursued pirates throughout the spinward frontier of the alliance before vanishing mysteriously; after a sixteen-month absence the Star reappeared in the Dante system just in time for the launch of the Draconis Combine's invasion of the Federated Suns.[4]

References[edit]

  1. Field Manual: Warden Clans, p. 65, "Naval Assets"
  2. Wars of Reaving, p. 61, "Closing the Net"
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 Wars of Reaving, p. 137, "Titanic Voyage of the Swift Strike"
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Era Report: 3145, p. 74-76, "Alliance Naval Star"
  5. Field Manual: 3145, p. 166, "The Alliance Fleet"
  6. Field Report: Clans, p. 18-19, "Fleet Assets"

Bibliography[edit]